These are challenging times in the realm of Hokie football, but as observers, the reasons behind those challenges are far beyond our control. That being said, as Hokies, we do have our place in the stands. It might come as news to some of you, but there are some unwritten obligations that evidently have not been properly communicated to the current student body. Allow me to assist.

Lane Stadium is definitely not the place it was when I was a student. Fifteen years ago, there was no real debate over the best atmosphere in college football. Everyone knew the answer: Lane Stadium. Today, it’s just plain sad. Where the North End Zone was the most raucous place in the United States half a dozen or so times each year and you couldn’t find a place to stand, today it’s a relative ghost town — and people are noticing.

I found myself at the 50 yard line of the West Stands today, and for the fourth time this year, I heard the same observation: “Man, the students really don’t hang around anymore do they?”

There were a number of colorful responses, and I’ll share some of the descriptions that they involved: Disappointing. Lame. Embarrassing. Pathetic. “Not True Hokies.” 

Current Hokies, when you attend a game, you have a responsibility. Your responsibility isn’t to pose for Instagram and walk out right after “Enter Sandman.” Your responsibility isn’t to see if today’s the day that your paper airplane actually makes it to the field. Your responsibility is to support your classmates on the field no matter what. Those of us who no longer get student section tickets, we’re the ones that gave Lane Stadium its reputation — not you. You’re ruining it.

I get it. It’s difficult to get fired up for a weak opponent on a drizzly Saturday afternoon, but your fellow Hokies on the field deserve your support. I also understand that Virginia Tech football isn’t where it used to be right now, but you know what? Who cares. We had dreadfully boring games against the Furmans and Rhode Islands of the world when I was a student, too. Get to your seat before “Enter Sandman” and don’t leave it until the final whistle blows.

And that’s it. Show up, support your team and don’t leave until it’s time. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

Charles Nolan

Class of 2010

Third Generation Hokie

PS: Class of 2021. You just put a statue of Frank Beamer on your class ring. He has given more than three decades of his life to Virginia Tech football. You think maybe you could at least make it to four quarters?